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    • By Jim_Alaska in Jim_Alaska's Sermons & Devotionals
         14
      Closed Communion
      James Foley
       
      I Corinthians 11:17-34: "Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you. When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's Supper. For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not. For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another. And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come."

      INTRODUCTION

      Historic Baptists, true Baptists, have believed in and still believe in closed communion. Baptists impose upon themselves the same restrictions that they impose on others concerning the Lord’s Supper. Baptists have always insisted that it is the Lord’s Table, not theirs; and He alone has the right to say who shall sit at His table. No amount of so called brotherly love, or ecumenical spirit, should cause us to invite to His table those who have not complied with the requirements laid down plainly in His inspired Word. With respect to Bible doctrines we must always use the scripture as our guide and practice. For Baptists, two of the most important doctrines are Baptism and The Lord’s Supper. These are the only two doctrines we recognize as Church Ordinances. The Bible is very clear in teaching how these doctrines are to be practiced and by whom.

      We only have two ordinances that we must never compromise or we risk our very existence, they are Baptism and The Lord’s Supper.

      The moment we deviate from the precise method God has prescribed we have started down the slippery slope of error. True Baptists have held fast to the original doctrine of The Lord’s Supper from the time of Christ and the Apostles.

      Unfortunately, in this day of what the Bible describes as the age of luke warmness, Baptists are becoming careless in regard to strictly following the pattern laid out for us in Scripture. Many of our Bible colleges are graduating otherwise sincere, Godly and dedicated pastors and teachers who have not been taught the very strict, biblical requirements that surround the Lord’s Supper. Any Bible college that neglects to teach its students the differences surrounding Closed Communion, Close Communion and Open Communion is not simply short changing its students; it is also not equipping their students to carry on sound Bible traditions. The result is men of God and churches that fall into error. And as we will see, this is serious error.

      Should we as Baptists ignore the restrictions made by our Lord and Master? NO! When we hold to the restrictions placed upon the Lord’s Supper by our Master, we are defending the "faith which was once delivered to the saints" Jude 3.

      The Lord’s Supper is rigidly restricted and I will show this in the following facts:

      IT IS RESTRICTED AS TO PLACE

      A. I Corinthians 11:18 says, "When ye come together in the church." This does not mean the church building; they had none. In other words, when the church assembles. The supper is to be observed by the church, in church capacity. Again this does not mean the church house. Ekklesia, the Greek word for church, means assembly. "When ye come together in the church," is when the church assembles.

      B. When we say church we mean an assembly of properly baptized believers. Acts 2:41-42: "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers."

      The church is made up of saved people who are baptized by immersion. In the Bible, belief precedes baptism. That’s the Bible way.

      Acts 8:12-13, "But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done."

      When we say properly baptized, we mean immersed. No unbeliever should take the Lord’s supper, and no non-immersed believer should take the supper. Those who are sprinkled are not baptized and cannot receive the supper. The Greek word for baptize is baptizo, and it always means to immerse.

      "In every case where communion is referred to, or where it may possibly have been administered, the believers had been baptized Acts 2:42; 8:12; 8:38; 10:47; 6:14-15; 18:8; 20:7. Baptism comes before communion, just as repentance and faith precede baptism".

      C. The Lord’s Supper is for baptized believers in church capacity: "When ye come together in the church," again not a building, but the assembly of the properly baptized believers.

      D. The fact that the Lord’s Supper is a church ordinance, to be observed in church capacity, is pointed out by the fact that it is for those who have been immersed and added to the fellowship of the church.

      E. The Lord’s Supper is never spoken of in connection with individuals. When it is referred to, it is only referred to in reference to baptized believers in local church capacity I Cor. 11:20-26).

      I want to quote Dr. W.W. Hamilton,

      "The individual administration of the ordinance has no Bible warrant and is a relic of Romanism. The Lord’s Supper is a church ordinance, and anything which goes beyond or comes short of this fails for want of scriptural example or command".

      “The practice of taking a little communion kit to hospitals, nursing homes, etc. is unscriptural and does not follow the scriptural example.”

      IT IS RESTRICTED TO A UNITED CHURCH

      A. The Bible in I Cor. 11:18 is very strong in condemning divisions around the Lord’s table. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.
      19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.
      20 When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper.

      There were no less than four divisions in the Corinthian church.
      I Cor. 1:12: "Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ."

      Because of these divisions, it was impossible for them to scripturally eat the Lord’s Supper. Division in the local church is reason to hold off observing the Lord’s Supper. But there are also other reasons to forego taking the Lord’s Supper. If there is gross sin in the membership we do not take it. Here is scriptural evidence for this: 1Co 5:7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us:
      8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:
      10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. 11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

      B. At this point, I want to ask these questions: Are there not doctrinal divisions among the many denominations? Is it not our doctrinal differences that cause us to be separate religious bodies?

      IT IS RESTRICTED BY DOCTRINE

      A. Those in the early church at Jerusalem who partook "continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine" Acts 2:42. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

      B. Those that do not hold to apostolic truth are not to partake. This means there is to be discipline in the local body. How can you discipline those who do not belong to the local body? You can’t. The clear command of scripture is to withdraw fellowship from those who are not doctrinally sound.

      II Thes 3:6: "Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us."
      Rom. 16:17: "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them."
      To commune together means to have the same doctrine.
      II Thes. 2:15: "Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle."
      II John 10-11: "If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds."

      C. Some Baptists in our day have watered down this doctrine by practicing what they call “Close Communion.” By this they mean that they believe that members of another Baptist church may take communion with us because they are of the same beliefs. Once again, this is unscriptural.

      The welcome to the Lord's Table should not be extended beyond the discipline of the local church. When we take the Lord’s Supper there is supposed to be no gross sin among us and no divisions among us. We have no idea of the spiritual condition of another church’s members. If there is sin or division in the case of this other church’s members, we have no way of knowing it. We cannot discipline them because they are not members of our church. This is why we practice “Closed” communion, meaning it is restricted solely to our church membership. 
      So then, in closing I would like to reiterate the three different ideas concerning the Lord’s Supper and who is to take it. 
      Closed Communion = Only members of a single local church. 
      Close Communion = Members of like faith and order may partake. 
      Open Communion = If you claim to be a Christian, or simply attending the service, you may partake. 
      It is no small thing to attempt to change that which was implemented by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 
      Mt. 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. 
      Many of our Baptist churches have a real need to consider the gravity of the act of observing The Lord’s Supper. It is not a light thing that is to be taken casually or without regard to the spiritual condition of ourselves or our church.
      1Co. 11:27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

       28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

       29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.

       30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

leave first love


19DuggarFan

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So after a spiritual high last week the likes which I have never seen; it was followed by such a lou that I have told God I hate Him.  I have left my first love and if not for the worst nightmare ever I probably wouldn't even care or be writing this.

A childhood dream I have is all .but left in dust.  Barring a miracle from God nothing has or will happen.  And like I said if not for not a nightmare I wouldn't be here  I have fear of God but little or no love forH Him.

 

 

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We all have choices to make while we are yet on this earth... choose the light of salvation that is in the Lord Jesus, or choose darkness which leads to eternal damnation.  

John 12:46 "I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness."

Acts 26:18 "To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me."

1 John 1:5 "This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all."
 

The Lord draws us to Him to bring us into the light of His salvation.  The world would pull us back into darkness if we succumb to it's pull.  There is only one reason we would willfully choose to go back to the darkness after having been shown the light of the gospel of salvation in Jesus.... that reason would be sin.  Too many expect to come to Jesus only in the thought that He can be "used" to give them worldly desires... Jesus cannot be used as a "fairy godmother".  No, He will show you the light of the truth... that we are all sinners.  What we then do is either accept His gift of salvation from our sins (as there is NO other way but by Jesus), or we deny Him and make a CHOICE to continue sinning, without salvation.  Choose Jesus, and choose eternal life.  Deny Jesus and choose eternal damnation. 

John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
17 "For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved."
18 "He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."  John 3:19 "And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil."  

 

The choice is yours.  I will be praying for you, that the Lord will open your eyes to the right choice...

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I don't know your situation completely, nor am I asking you to elaborate on it further. What I do know is that I can somewhat understand. You see, I've been through some pretty hard times myself...begging God to heal, take away, or if nothing else...to please take my children's health problems and give them to me instead. He never gave me what I asked and begged for. Though I never turned from God, I did go through some deep valleys.

We all do.

Remember how Elijah had that tremendous victory over the prophets of Baal? The next thing he did was run and hide because he was afraid of Jezebel...wishing he were dead. He went from an incredible victory to being incredibly defeated...but he kept going.

What got me through was this simple (but deep) truth...God loves me. Despite my circumstances, he loves me so much that he sacrificed his only begotten Son for me. Nothing...NOTHING can begin to compare to that. I may not understand why he allows things to happen, but he does...and he knows what is best.

When I survey the wondrous cross,
On which the Prince of glory died.
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

 

 

 

 

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18 hours ago, 19DuggarFan said:

So after a spiritual high last week the likes which I have never seen; it was followed by such a lou that I have told God I hate Him.  I have left my first love and if not for the worst nightmare ever I probably wouldn't even care or be writing this.

A childhood dream I have is all .but left in dust.  Barring a miracle from God nothing has or will happen.  And like I said if not for not a nightmare I wouldn't be here  I have fear of God but little or no love forH Him.

 

 

Get off the roller coaster and don't expect anything and you won't be disappointed. Just be thankful you weren't born in Saudi Arabia or Somalia. 

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On 11/24/2015 8:59:55, Critical Mass said:

Get off the roller coaster and don't expect anything and you won't be disappointed. Just be thankful you weren't born in Saudi Arabia or Somalia. 

Hirherto have ye ask nothing in My Name, ask and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.

John 16:24

 

To not be able to bring our needs  to the Father thru the Redeemet Jesus Christ is too never have full joy.

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On 11/26/2015, 3:42:15, 19DuggarFan said:

Hirherto have ye ask nothing in My Name, ask and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.

John 16:24

 

To not be able to bring our needs  to the Father thru the Redeemet Jesus Christ is too never have full joy.

You are missing my point. Don't expect your life to turn into some kind of fairy tale where you get married, have a bunch of healthy kids, tons of good friends, a good job, a church where everyone believes the bible, no problems, all your prayers get answered the way you want them to, a beautiful home, etc. etc. God may have a hard and lonely road for you to travel for his reasons instead. 

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On ‎11‎/‎24‎/‎2015‎ ‎1‎:‎56‎:‎55‎, 19DuggarFan said:

So after a spiritual high last week the likes which I have never seen; it was followed by such a lou that I have told God I hate Him.  I have left my first love and if not for the worst nightmare ever I probably wouldn't even care or be writing this.

A childhood dream I have is all .but left in dust.  Barring a miracle from God nothing has or will happen.  And like I said if not for not a nightmare I wouldn't be here  I have fear of God but little or no love forH Him.

 

 

Job_13:15 Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him:

2Cor_12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.

Phil 4:11-13 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.  I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.  I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Rom_5:3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I liked what Job said OFP, but for 19DuggarFan the rest of the verse seems pertinent  -  "but I will maintain mine own ways before him."

It's up to you 19DuggarFan to keep maintenance on your faith. Work on your own attitude about what you should be thinking about what the Lord is letting you experience.

You never know, the Lord may be preparing you to minister to someone else's needs.

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You fel for the oldest trick on Satan's book-you let Him drag you down and turn from God, even after a great spiritual victory of some sort, which should have encouraged you.  BUt see also, you're relying on emotion, you expect when something goes well, you'll stay on the mountain top for a while, yet sometimes, its a quick slide down back into the valley. But remember the valley is where the work gets done.

Remember, Jesus preparing Peter for the spiritual trial he was about to endue? Satan hath desired to have thee, to sift thee like wheat (not a quote). But Jesus told  him this so Peter was prepared for what he would do, (deny Him thrice), and the pain it would cause him, so that, once he recovered, he could use his experience to strengthen the other disciples.  Maybe that's where you are-a spiritual high, then you got sifted and did something foolish: told Jesus you hated Him-denied Christ, as it were. Now it't time to recover, let the Lord strengthen you and use this experience to strengthen the brethren.

Been there, done that.

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On 11/26/2015 5:00:40, Ronda said:

James 4:3 " Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. "

 

 

On 11/27/2015 7:23:56, Critical Mass said:

You are missing my point. Don't expect your life to turn into some kind of fairy tale where you get married, have a bunch of healthy kids, tons of good friends, a good job, a church where everyone believes the bible, no problems, all your prayers get answered the way you want them to, a beautiful home, etc. etc. God may have a hard and lonely road for you to travel for his reasons instead. 

Ronda and Critical Mass since you both have hit on the first point of my 3 part problem I will just say yes I ask to consume it upon my lust, but when I read I Corinthians 7:2 and Hebrews 13:4 along  with I Thessalonians 4:3 I cannot understand at my age and being a normal guy with urges, i am just tired of acting as if God hears my prays yet burning in my own lust.

My 2nd and 3rd problems just help to contribute to the confusion because they are both great roadblocks to the first.  And while I can honestly say many believers suffer from my first and 3rd problem, very few experience the pain of the 2nd.   I Peter 5:8-9.

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1 Corinthians 10:13 "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."

1 Peter 4:12-13 "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:"
"But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy."

1 John 5:4-5 "For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith."
"Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?"

John 16:33 "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."
 

We cannot expect God to swoop down and "fix" our problems on demand. We are pretty much guaranteed to have struggles in this world if we are living for Him. (2 Tim 3:12). However, what concerns me most about your post are the words you stated: "I have fear of God but little or no love forH Him ".  Why would you hope for God's help when you say you don't even love Him? 

Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding."
"In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."

Here is the starting point for the answer to any/all of your problems:   Matthew 22:37 "Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind."
 


 

 

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13 hours ago, 19DuggarFan said:

 

Ronda and Critical Mass since you both have hit on the first point of my 3 part problem I will just say yes I ask to consume it upon my lust, but when I read I Corinthians 7:2 and Hebrews 13:4 along  with I Thessalonians 4:3 I cannot understand at my age and being a normal guy with urges, i am just tired of acting as if God hears my prays yet burning in my own lust.

My 2nd and 3rd problems just help to contribute to the confusion because they are both great roadblocks to the first.  And while I can honestly say many believers suffer from my first and 3rd problem, very few experience the pain of the 2nd.   I Peter 5:8-9.

Temptations-lust. I understand these things, being also a man, and no youngster, yet the lust can still burst forth in the most unexpected times and ways. I get it-it never goes away, a great way for Satan to tempt us. So, have you dealt with the root?

All sin pretty much comes down to three things: Lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and pride of life. These are the sins we have to first deal with-the sins no one sees, but that beget the acting out of sin. Lust of the flesh and lust of the eyes often work together, and then, when pride of life, placing ourselves above the word and commands of God, our 'needs' becoming our god, this is when we fail to have victory. We must repent of the root, then deal with the symptom, the acting out of those particular sins. Its like a juniper bush-you can cut back the branches all you like, but the roots will continue to grow and the branches will return. You need to cut the branches, (repent of the active sin), AND dig out the roots, (repent of the root sin, the three listed about), and bear in mind, junipers run deep and can sometimes grow back if a little root was missed. So we need to stay vigilant even after repentance and be prepared for that root to try and spring up again, so you can dig it out again before the branches appear. .

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